A mother whose precious plants were wrecked by a vandal armed with weedkiller decided not to press charges - until she got a letter from the offender.
Sara Coogan was astonished to receive the note from Reece Grove telling her the reasons for his “drunken dare” were that her husband made a lot of noise with his motorbike and he took up too many parking spaces.
Mrs Coogan, who lost a memorial plant to her baby who died 20 years ago in the weedkiller attack, was so incensed she chose to press charges after all.
Reece Groves destroyed a garden in Gillingham with weedkiller
Grove, 19, of Ranscombe Close, Strood, appeared before Medway magistrates where he pleaded guilty to damaging £204.50 of plants.
Mrs Coogan, 47, of May Road, Gillingham, contacted the police about the damage after seeing Grove post a picture of it on Facebook.
However, she said she would prefer a face-to-face apology rather than taking the matter to court.
Sara Coogan's garden before it was attacked
After the weedkiller attack
Although Grove did apologise, writing that his actions were a result of a “silly drunken dare”, he also explained that the reason for the dare were because: the “man of your house has a tendency to rev and scream the life out of his motorbike at all hours” and “constantly makes lots of noise throughout the night” as well as taking up two to three parking spaces with his motorbike.
He finished off by writing: “…if you could action these points it would be muchly appreciated. Once again sorry for the killing of your plants.”
Mrs Coogan said: “One of the plants was for a dead child and it has not come back to life. I cannot explain the pain and sorrow that I personally feel.
“The loss of the tree, has now brought back the memories of losing the baby and made those feelings open sores, when they were healing.”
“The loss of the tree, has now brought back the memories of losing the baby and made those feelings open sores, when they were healing” - Sara Coogan
The tree was the only memorial she had to her baby, who she lost at a time when it was legally considered too young to have a proper funeral.
She said: “When this happened I could not go out into the garden because I would feel myself start to cry. My heart is breaking.
“If it was a damaged gravestone it could be replaced as the grave is still there, but my plant is gone, died, forever lost.”
Grove, a KFC worker, was fined £100 and ordered to pay court costs of £85, a victim surcharge of £20 and £250 in compensation.